Biocon Biologics, Serum Institute Life Sciences announce strategic alliance
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The Board of Directors of Biocon Biologics Limited (BBL), a material subsidiary of Biocon Limited, on September 16 approved the merger of Covidshield Technologies Private Limited (CTLP) -- a wholly-owned subsidiary of Serum Institute Life Sciences Private Limited (SILS) -- into BBL.
Under the alliance, BBL will have access to 100 million doses of vaccines annually for 15 years and commercialisation rights of the SILS vaccine portfolio for global markets, BBL said in a regulatory filing. This will take place primarily from SILS's upcoming vaccine facility in Pune with commercialisation rights of the SILS vaccine portfolio -- including COVID-19 vaccines -- for global markets.
SILS, according to the agreement, will receive approximately 15 percent stake in BBL at a post-money valuation of about $4.9 billion. BBL will generate a committed revenue stream and related margins, commencing the second half of FY23. The firm added that Adar Poonawalla will have a Board seat in Biocon Biologics Limited.
Among other details, BBL said that the strategic alliance will also develop antibodies targeting several infectious diseases like Dengue, HIV, etc. Also, both the firms -- BBL and SILS -- will enter Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for manufacturing and distribution of the vaccines and antibodies.Close
Frequently Asked Questions
How does a vaccine work?
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
How many types of vaccines are there?
There are broadly four types of vaccine - one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.View more Show
"This alliance will complement the strengths and resources of the two leading players in vaccines and biologics. Our shared vision of building large scale businesses having global impact makes it a unique and synergistic value creation opportunity," Biocon & Biocon Biologics Executive Chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw said.
Apart from SLA, Biocon Biologics will also establish, at its cost, a vaccine R&D division to support the strategic alliance in developing both vaccines and biologics for communicable diseases. Under the strategic alliance, BBL will make available its cell culture and sterile fill and finish capacities, for vaccine production.
"We look forward to complementing each other's capabilities and capacities in vaccines and biologics, with the objective of addressing inequitable access both in emerging and developed markets for life-saving vaccines and biologics," Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla commented.As per the alliance, Biocon Biologics would issue shares and receive the contemplated rights through a merger with CTPL on customary closing conditions and receipt of regulatory approvals.